Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I know that technically it is not until tomorrow. I also know thast technically you aren’t supposed to speak of Christmas until after Thanksgiving but I am just so excited to share these with you I could not control myself. The recipe was a wedding gift from my husband’s grandmother and after two years I am finally getting around to making them.
I do not like making cookies at all. I enjoy the fun part of filling and decorating them but the actual baking part…just no. Am I the only one who loses interest once the first batch comes out of the oven?
When it nears December I get the urge to make them. They are cookies. They are delicious. The sacrifice must be made. Duh.
I grew up in Southern California and one of my favorite parts of visiting family was stopping at roadside date stands. Trips to the valley were always full of the sweet fruit, which was harder to find up the mountain in Big Bear.
Although this recipe did not come from my side of the family, the date filling brought back wonderful memories of trips as a child. It also reminded me that I need more date recipes.
I made two substitutions to Grandma Jane’s recipe. I used butter instead of shortening and brown sugar instead of white. Personally I do not like the flavor of shortening which is why I used butter instead. These have a great shortbread-like texture and got softer after being stored for a couple days (if they last that long).
These are supposed to be rolled out and flat. Clearly, mine are the opposite of that. I had some problems rolling out the dough and getting them to cut cleanly so I ended up scooping the drop-cookie style and gently smashing the tops. I blame these problems on my substitutions. It may also have something to do with my impatience with cookies. We will never know!
They are imperfect little mountains but they are so delicious you will not care. The date filling perfectly complements the oatmeal cookies. The best part is that these actually taste like oatmeal cookies and aren’t an explosion on cinnamon and other unnecessary spices. They are perfect to add to your Christmas cookie recipe box.
Oatmeal Cookies with Date Filling
8 oz dates, chopped fine
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
8 oz. butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats (do not use steel-cut)
1 cup flour
- Combine chopped dates, sugar and water in a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat until thick.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat butter, sugar and salt (2 minutes in a stand mixer, 5 with a hand mixer).
- Slowly incorporate flour into mixture.
- Add oats until combined.
- If the dough is a little dry add milk a teaspoon at a time until you can form them.
- Roll dough into balls or use a disher to place onto cookie sheets.
- Gently flatten the cookies before placing in oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- While still warm, spread date filling onto the bottom half of the cookies.
- Top with another cookie.
- Store in an airtight container.